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THESE WERE THE MEN. 



THESE WERE 
THE MEN. 



Poems of the War. 
1914-1918. 



MARSHALL BROTHERS, LTD., 

PUBLISHERS, 
LONDON, EDINBURGH AND NEW YORK. 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

BOBS' WAY 9 

A SCRAP OF PAPER Henry Van Dyke 10 

THE EMPIRE'S CALL Fred E. Weatherly 1 1 

THE ANSWER Fred E. Weatherly 12 

LIBERTY, THE FALSE AND THE TRUE . . . . Sir Owen Seaman 13 

MOTHER BRITAIN AND HER SONS Herbert Kaufman 14 

THE GIFT OF INDIA Sarojind Naidu 15 

INDIA'S LOYALTY Nawab Nizamat Jung Bahadur 16 

CANADA .. Helen Severez 17 

QUEENSLANDERS Will. H. Ogilvie 18 

LIEGE Sir William Watson 19 

BRITAIN TO BELGIUM 20 

THE REFUGEES W. G. Shakespeare 21 

To THE VANGUARD Beatrix Brice 22 

THE GUNS OF LE CATEAU Beatrix Brice 23 

THE TOY BAND Sir Henry Newbolt 25 

FLANDERS H. C. F. 26 

WITH CHRIST IN FLANDERS L. W. 27 

STRONGER Isabel J. Cornwall 29 

YPRES CATHEDRAL W. G. Shakespeare 30 

THREE HILLS Everard Owen 31 

ST. GEORGE'S DAY Sir Henry Newbolt 32 

THE GUNS IN SUSSEX Sir A. Conan Doyle 33 

INTO BATTLE Hon. Julian Grenfell 35 

BACK TO REST E. Melbourne 37 

A LISTENING POST R. E. Vernede 38 

AT RHEIMS Laurence Binyon 39 

VIN ROUGE, VIN BLANC ,.. O.C. Platoon 41 

HOME THOUGHTS FROM LAVENTIE . . Hon. E. Wyndham Tennant 43 

ARRAS J. Petersen 45 

IN FLANDERS' FIELDS Lt.-Col. John Macree 46 

THE REARGUARD Touchstone 47 

THE DEAD Rupert Brooke 48 

SAFETY Rupert Brooke 49 

GIFTS OF THE DEAD Dr. Habberton Lulham 50 

KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM Robert J. C. Stead 51 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

EDITH CAVELL Moray Dalton 52 

A SOLDIER'S MOTHER H. V. P. 53 

SUBALTERNS Mildred Huxley 54 

KINGS OF MEN Dr. Habberton Lulham 55 

A VERY HAPPY WARRIOR O.C. Platoon 57 

THE PATROL Capt. J. H. Knight-Adkin 58 

THE INFANTRYMAN 60 

V.A.D 61 

THE COOKERS 62 

GUN TEAMS Gilbert Frankau 63 

A SONG OF WINTER WEATHER Robert Service 65 

THANKSGIVING O.C. Platoon 67 

THE HEALERS Laurence Binyon 68 

IN A HOSPITAL Touchstone 69 

To A SOLDIER IN HOSPITAL W. M. Letts 70 

IN THE WARD Patrick MacGill 71 

FEALTY Dr. Habberton Lulham 72 

HOME THOUGHTS : ADEN 73 

GALLIPOLI W. de B. Maclaren 74 

THE DARDANELLES 76 

DEFENDERS OF KUT Beatrix Brice 77 

THE BATTLE OF THE BIGHT Sir William Watson 79 

THE SEA is His R. E. Vernede 81 

THE MINE SWEEPERS H. Ingamells 82 

THE WINDS 84 

VlLLANELLE OF VlLLANY Rt. Hon. Sir C. Darling 85 

HAWKS Will. H. Ogilvie 86 

THE AIRMAN H. A. Nesbitt 87 

THE FOURTH CHRISTMAS Moray Dalton 89 

THE WINDMILL A. P. H. 90 

LILLE, 1918 . . . . N. D. 92 

PEACE Katharine Tynan 93 

THE OLD FLAG Corrie Blake 94 

THE TRUST C. A. A. 95 

WHOSE DEBTORS WE ARE % 

ENGLAND'S SAINTS James Rhoades 97 

THE WAR AND ONE MAN IN THE STREET . . Dr. Habberton Lulham 99 

EPITAPHS J. M. Edmonds, E.J. 100 



THESE WERg'-ft&K '$ 



BOBS' WAY. 



He knew, none better, how 'twould be, 
And spoke his warning far and wide. 
He worked to save us ceaselessly, 
Setting his well-earned ease aside. 

We smiled, and shrugged, and went our way 
Blind to the swift approaching blow. 
His every word proves true to-day, 
But no man hears, *' I told you so/' 

By kind permission of 
the Proprietors of "Punch." 



io THESE WERE THE MEN 



A SCRAP OF PAPER. 



A mocking question ! Britain's answer came 
Swift as the light and searching as the flame. 

Yes, for a scrap of paper we will fight 

Till our last breath, and God defend the right. 

A scrap of paper where a name is set 

Is strong as duty's pledge and honour's debt. 

A scrap of paper holds for man and wife 
The sacrament of love, the bond of life. 

A scrap of paper may be Holy Writ 
With God's eternal love to hallow it. 

A scrap of paper binds us both to stand 
Defenders of a neutral neighbour's land. 

By God, by faith, by honour, yes ! we fight 
To keep our name upon that paper white. 

HENRY VAN DYKE. 

Copyright, from the " Red Flower," 
by kind permission of the 
Author and of 
Messrs. C. Scribner & Sons. 



THESE WERE THE MEN n 
THE EMPIRE'S CALL. 



Men and boys of England, sons of all her seas, 
What call was ever clearer in darkest days like these ? 
Not for lust of conquest she calls you to the fray : 
Tis honour, faith, and friendship bid you fight to-day. 

Up then, and fight ! and glory be your crown : 
Draw the sword and sheath it not until the foe be down. 
As of old our fathers did, ye to-day will do : 
England and the Empire leaves her fate to you. 

Women of the nation, mothers of the race, 

God knows what lies before you, what sorrow ye must face, 

But bravely ye will face it, in calmness ye will rest, 

And give to this dear land of ours the men ye love the best ! 

Work ! wait ! and hope ! It shall not be in vain ! 
Work, and keep the home for them till they come back 

again. 

As of old the women did, ye to-day will do : 
England and the Empire trusts her life to you ! 

So with prayer and fighting, so with blood and tears, 

England still shall conquer as in ancient years. 

So, by God still guided, England still shall keep 

Her place beside the friends she loves, her kingdom on the deep. 

Trust, then, and fight ! whatever may befall, 
Every one has got his post, every one his call, 
As the glorious days of old, so these days shall be ; 
Lord of Hosts and God of Might, we leave our fate to 
Thee. 

X 

FRED E. WEATHERLY. 

By kind permission 
of the Author. 



12 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE ANSWER. 

*> % * 

Tell me, Soldier, tell me, Seaman, 

Why you look so blithe and gay, 
When your wives are weeping round you, 

When your sweethearts bid you stay? 

When you fight through mud and snow, 
When you keep the sea's highway, 

When there's death where'er you go 
Tell me why you look so gay. 

Answered Soldier, answered Seaman, 

As they flung their lives away, 
" When the nation's heart is calling, 

Who could doubt ? or who could stay ? 

FRED E. WEATHERLY. 

By kind permission of 
the Author. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 13 



LIBERTY THE FALSE AND THE TRUE. 



We rocked ourselves in balmy sleep, 
Knowing Britannia ruled the waves, 
And while her watch-dogs held the deep 
Never, oh no, should we be slaves : 
Others in less enlightened lands 
Had lords to drill and drive and bleed 'em, 
But we, thank God, could fold our hands 
All in the blessed name of freedom. 

By that most comfortable word 
We claimed, as only Britons may, 
The right to work, if we preferred, 
The right, if so we chose, to play ; 
Under that flag we danced and dined, 
Lifted the lusty patriot chorus, 
And paid a few (that way inclined) 
To go and do our fighting for us. 

So when the sudden war-bolt fell 

We still kept up our games and strikes, 

True to the law we loved so well 

Let every one do what he likes ; 

This was a free land ; none should tramp 

In conscript lines, dragooned and herded, 

Though some might take a call to camp 

If the request was nicely worded. 

And now we learn at what a price, 

And in an hour how dark and late 

That never, save by sacrifice, 

Men come to Liberty's estate ; 

No birthright helps us here at need ; 

Each must be taught by stern probation 

That they alone are free indeed 

Who bind themselves to serve the nation. 

OWEN SEAMAN, 

By kind permission of the 
Proprietors of "Punch." 



i 4 THESE WERE THE MEN 



MOTHER BRITAIN AND HER SONS. 



We are coming, Mother, coming we are coming home to fight, 
To defend the Empire's honour, to uphold the Empire's might. 
From the plains of Manitoba, from the diggings of the Rand, 
We are coming, Mother Britain, coming home to lend a hand. 
From the islands and the highlands fast across the seven seas ; 
Look where'er the sun is shining, and your flag is in the breeze. 
We'll prove our breed in your hour of need, and teach the bally 

Huns, 
Who strike at Britain, they must likewise reckon with her sons. 

We are coming, Mother, coming save a good place at the front ; 
Where the battle rages fiercest, let your children bear the brunt. 
'Tis a long way from Australia, and we've earned the right to 

stand 
In the first ranks, Mother Britain, have your orders when we 

land. 
From the islands and the highlands, from the outposts of the 

earth, 

On a hundred ships we hasten to your side to prove our worth. 
We've come to stick through thin or thick, and woe betide the 

ones 
Who dare to smite the Mother-might, forgetting of the Sons. 

We are coming, Mother Britain we are coming to your aid. 
There's a debt we owe our fathers, and we mean to see it paid. 
From the jungles of Rhodesia, from the snows of Saskatoon, 
We are coming, Mother Britain, and we hope to see you soon. 
From the islands and the highlands, just as fast as we can speed, 
We are hastening to serve you in the hour of your need. 
For, wherever peril calls abroad for loyal hearts and guns, 
We'll show the foe, that weal or woe, we're Mother Britain's 
sons. 

HERBERT KAUFMAN. 

From " The Hellgate of 
Soissons and other Poems," 
by kind permission of 
T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 15 






THE GIFT OF INDIA. 



Is there aught you need that my hands withhold, 
Rich gifts of raiment, or grain or gold ? 
Lo ! I have flung to the East and West 
Priceless treasures torn from my breast, 
And yielded the sons of my stricken womb 
To the drumbeats of duty, the sabres of doom. 

Gathered like pearls in their alien graves, 

Silent they sleep by the Persian waves, 

Scattered like shells on Egyptian sands 

They lie with pale brows, and brave broken hands ; 

They are strown like blossoms mown down by chance 

On the blood-brown meadows of Flanders and France, 

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep 

Or compass the woe of the watch I keep ? 

Or the pride that thrills through my heart's despair 

And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer ? 

And the far sad glorious vision I see 

Of the torn red banners of Victory ? 

When the terror and tumult of hate shall cease 

And life be re-fashioned on anvils of peace, 

And your love shall offer memorial thanks 

To the comrades who fought in your dauntless ranks, 

And you honour the deeds of your deathless ones, 

Remember the blood of my martyred sons ! 

SAROJIND NAIDU. 

By kind permission of 
" The Times." 



16 THESE WERE THE MEN 



INDIA'S LOYALTY. 
A Sonnet to England. 



Home of my youth, England, thou to me 
Didst give the soul's best gifts ; for which I stand 
Thy liegeman unto death. But this weak hand 
Doth shame, alas ! my proud heart's fealty : 
Ah ! would it could in this thy jeopardy 
Strike at thy ^haughty foe, at Love's demand : 
Ah ! would 'twere mine to yield the warrior's brand 
To dare and die, like thine own sons, for thee. 

Vain thoughts ! vain words ! These feeble limbs no more 

Can move with youth's high hope in battle line, 

As once they might have moved in days of yore ; 

When youth and health, and youth's high hopes were mine. 

Though vain the wish, and vain words idle store 

Beyond all thoughts and words my heart is thine. 

NAWAB NIZAMAT JUNG BAHADUR. 

By kind permission of 
Erskine Macdonald, Ltd. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 17 



CANADA. 



They came in their splendid battalions 

When the Motherhood gave the sign, 
From ranch and orchard and farmland, 

From factory, office and mine ; 
From the land of the warm-hued maple leaf and the flaming 

golden-rod, 
Where a man stakes all on the task in hand, 

And gives his soul to God. 

torn and broken battalions, 

When you've played your splendid part 
You will take back there to your homeland 

A bit of old England's heart : 
In the land of the warm-hued maple leaf and the flaming 

golden-rod, 

We shall face, with you, the task in hand 
And leave the rest to God. 

HELEN SEVEREZ. 

By kind permission of 
the Authoress and of the 
"Daily Express." 



i8 THESE WERE THE MEN 



QUEENSLANDERS. 



Lean brown lords of the Brisbane beaches, 

Lithe-limbed kings of the Culgoa bends, 
Princes that ride where the Roper reaches, 

Captains that camp where the grey Gulf ends 
Never such goodly men together 

Marched since the kingdoms first made war ; 
Nothing so proud as the Emu Feather 

Waved in an English wind before ! 

Ardour and faith of those keen brown faces ! 

Challenge and strength of those big brown hands ! 
Eyes that have flashed upon wide-flung spaces ! 

Chins that have conquered in fierce far lands ! 
Flood could not daunt them, Drought could not break them ; 

Deep in their hearts is their sun's own fire ; 
Blood of thine own blood, England, take them ! 

These are the swords of thy soul's desire ! 

WILL H. OGILVIE. 

By kind permission 
of the Author and oj 
the " 'Spectator ." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 19 



LIEGE. 



Betwixt the Foe and France was she 
France the immortal, France the free, 
The foe like one vast living sea 
Drew nigh. 

He dreamed that none his tide would stay ; 
But when he bade her to make way, 
She through her cannon answered " Nay, 
"Not I!" 

No tremor and no fear she showed ; 
She held the pass, she barred the road, 
While Death's unsleeping feet bestrode 
The ground. 

So long as deeds of noblest worth 
Are sung with joy, and tears, and mirth, 
Her glory shall to the ends of the earth 
Resound. 

Watched by a world that yearned to aid, 
Lonely she stood but undismayed, 
Resplendent was the part she played 
And pure. 

Praised be her heroes, proud her sons ! 
She threw her soul into her guns. 
Her name shall with the loveliest ones 
Endure. 

WILLIAM WATSON, 

By kind permission 
of the Author. 



20 THESE WERE THE MEN 






BRITAIN TO BELGIUM. 



Sister, for the tears that thou hast shed ; 
Sister, for thy dear undying Head, 
For the sons thou hast not grudged to give 
Loyally, that Liberty might live; 
Sister, for the little child 
Dead beside a hearth denied, 
Do I dream my love alone 
Can atone ? 

Can I bring again the brave that fell 
When thy heaven crumbled into Hell ? 
Can I banish from before thine eyes 
Haunting visions under haggard skies? 
Blazing homes and blackened plain, 
Can I make them fair again ? 
Can I ever heal thy smart, 
Broken heart? 

Sister, we be women you and I, 
Sorrow's craving who can satisfy ? 
None may pay thee back so dear a loss, 
Only let me help to bear thy cross. 
Sick and hungry in their need 
Let me succour, let me feed, 
Little sister, freely take 
For their sake. 



By kind permission of 

the Proprietors of "Punch." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 21 



THE REFUGEES. 



Past the marching men, where the great road runs, 
Out of burning Ypres, three pale women came, 
One was a widow (listen to the guns) 
She wheeled a heaped-up barrow. One walked lame 
And dragged two tired children at her side, 
Frightened and coughing with the dust. The third 
Nestled a dead child on her breast and tried 
To suckle him. They never spoke a word. 

So they came down along the great Ypres road. 
A soldier stayed his mirth to watch them pass, 
Turned, and in silence helped them with their load 
And led them to a field and gave them bread. 
I saw them hide their faces in the grass 
And cry, as women cried when Christ was dead. 

W. G. SHAKESPEARE. 

From ' ' Ypres and other 

Poems," by kind permission 

of the Author and of 

Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd. 



22 THESE WERE THE MEN 



TO THE VANGUARD. 



Oh, little mighty Force that stood for England ! 
That, with your bodies for a living shield, 
Guarded her slow awaking, that defied 
The sudden challenge of tremendous odds 
And fought the rushing legions to a stand 
Then stark in grim endurance held the line. 
little Force that in your agony 
Stood fast while England girt her armour on, 
Held high our honour in your wounded hands, 
Carried our honour safe with bleeding feet 
We have no glory great enough for you, 
The very soul of Britain keeps your day ! 
Procession ? Marches forth a Race in Arms ; 
And, for the thunder of the crowd's applause, 
Crash upon crash the voice of monstrous guns, 
Fed by the sweat, served by the life of England, 
Shouting your battlecry across the world. 

Oh, little mighty Force, your way is ours, 
This land inviolate your monument. 

BEATRIX BRICE. 

By kind permission 
of the Authoress. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 23 



GUNS OF LE CATEAU. 

<!/ ^> 'S/ 

Guns of the Fifth Division, on you depend this day 
The destinies of Europe, you cover here the way. 
If you go, then the army goes, 
And Paris lies before her foes. 

We have fought since early morning 

And the end is drawing near ; 
They knew we had no warning 

Of the odds that face us here. 
We have fought since early morning, 
They knew we had no warning 
Of the trap before us yawning 

But we've pulled the army clear. 

We have fought the fires of hell, 

My guns, my guns ! 
Fought together what befell, 

My guns, my guns ! 
We have fought the fires of hell, 
Fought together what befell, 
And you served our need right well, 

My guns, my guns. 

The glorious Line are fighting 
Like tigers all the day ; 
And the gunners firing, sighting, 
Steady to be slain or slay. 

The glorious Line are fighting 

With the gunners firing, sighting, 

And we've stunned that host affrighting, 

And we've saved the Force to-day. 

For our men don't know defeat, 

My guns, my guns ! 
And they'll give you glory meet, 

My guns, my guns ! 
For our men don't know defeat, 
And they'll give you glory meet, 
For you've covered the retreat, 

My guns, my guns ! 



24 THESE WERE THE MEN 



There's a zone of death around, 

Where the hail of shrapnel streams, 

And behind they've trenched the ground, 

So we can't get up the teams. 
There's a zone of death around, 
Where the lyddite blasts the ground, 
So there's no way to be found 
To break through and bring the teams. 

But there's not a round to fire, 

My guns, my guns ! 
And the dead are piling higher, 

My guns, my guns ! 
But there's not a round to fire, 
And the dead are piling higher, 
And the order's to retire, 

My guns, my guns ! 

You are battered, smashed and shaken 
And the foe will profit naught, 
All your sights and breech-blocks taken 
Left, the havoc they have wrought. 

You are battered, smashed and shaken, 

All that we can carry taken, 

And we leave you here forsaken, 

By the dead with whom you fought. 

But I swear by God's own name, 

My guns, my guns ! 
I will bring you back again, 

My guns, my guns ! 
From Berlin, across the slain, 
Every yard of fire and pain, 
I will bring you back again, 

My guns, my guns ! 

BEATRIX BRICE. 

By kind permission 
of the Authoress. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 25 



THE TOY BAND. 

A Song of the Great Retreat. 

^/ 'g/ '</ 
Dreary lay the long road, dreary lay the town, 

Lights out and never a glint o' moon : 
Weary lay the stragglers, half a thousand down, 

Sad sighed the weary big Dragoon. 
" Oh ! if I'd a drum here to make them take the road again, 

Oh ! if I'd a fife to wheedle, Come, boys, come ! 
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again, 

Fall in ! Fall in ! Follow the fife and drum ! 

" Hey, but here's a toy-shop, here's a drum for me, 

Penny whistles too, to play the tune ! 
Half a thousand dead men soon shall hear and see 

We're a band ! " said the weary big Dragoon. 
" Rubadub ! Rubadub ! Wake and take the road again, 

Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come ! 
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again, 

Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife and drum !" 

Cheerly goes the dark road, cheerly goes the night, 

Cheerly goes the blood to keep the beat : 
Half a thousand dead men marching on to fight 

With a little penny drum to lift their feet. 
" Rubadub ! Rubadub ! Wake and take the road again, 

Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come ! 
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again, 

Fall in ! Fall in ! Follow the fife and drum ! " 

As long as there's an Englishman to ask a tale of me, 

As long as I can tell the tale aright, 
We'll not forget the penny whistle's wheedle-deedle-dee 

And the big Dragoon a-beating down the night. 
" Rubadub ! Rubadub ! Wake and take the road again, 

Wheedle-deedle-deeedle-dee, Come, boys, come ! 
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again, 

Fall in ! Fall in ! Follow the fife and drum ! " 

HENRY NEWBOLT. 

From " Poems New and Old, igig," 
published by John Murray, by 
kind permission of the Author 



26 THESE WERE THE MEN 



FLANDERS. 



Under the lee of the little wood 

I'm sitting in the sun : 
What will be done in Flanders 

Before the day be done ? 

Under my feet the springing blades 

Are green as green can be : 
It's the bloody clay of Flanders 

That keeps them green for me. 

Above, beyond the larches 

The sky is very blue ; 
It's the smoke of Hell in Flanders 

That leaves the sun for you. 

By nests in the blossoming elm-tree 

The wise rooks rock on bough, 
What blasts of hell in Flanders 

Rive the bared branches now ? 

H. C. F. 



By kind permission of 
"The Times." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 27 



WITH CHRIST IN FLANDERS. 



We had forgotten You, or very nearly 

You did not seem to touch us very nearly 

Of course we thought about You now and then : 

Especially in any time of trouble 

We knew that You were good in time of trouble 

But we are very ordinary men. 

And there were always other things to think of 
There's lots of things a man has got to think of 
His work, his home, his pleasure and his wife : 
And so we only thought of You on Sunday 
Sometimes, perhaps, not even on a Sunday 
Because there's always lots to fill one's life. 

And all the while, in street, or lane or by-way 

In country lane, in city street, or by-way 

You walked among us and we did not see. 

Your Feet were bleeding as You walked our pavements- 

How did we miss Your Footprints on our pavements ? 

Can there be other folk as blind as we ? 

Now we remember : over here in Flanders 
(It isn't strange to think of You in Flanders) 
This hideous warfare seems to make things cleari 
We never thought about You much in England 
But now that we are far away from England 
We have no doubts, we know that You are here. 

You helped us pass the jest along the trenches 
Where in cold blood we waited in the trenches 
You touched its ribaldry and made it fine. 
You stood beside us in our pain and weakness 
We're glad to think You understand our weakness 
Somehow it seems to help us not to whine. 



28 THESE WERE THE MEN 



We think about You kneeling in the Garden 

Ah ! God ! the agony of that dread Garden 

We know You prayed for us upon the Cross . 

If anything could make us glad to bear it 

Twould be the knowledge that You willed to bear it 

Pain death the uttermost of human loss. 

Though we forgot You You will not forget us 

We feel so sure that You will not forget us 

But stay with us until this dream is past. 

And so we ask for courage, strength and pardon 

Especially, I think we ask for pardon 

And that You'll stand beside us at the last. 

L. W. 

By kind permission 
of the "Spectator." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 29 

STRONGER. 

Our orders were out that night, 
And there wasn't a man but knew 
For certain, when daylight came 
He'd be in the thick of the fight, 
Right in the heart of the flame, 

And silent most of us grew ; 

Weary, anxious, and cold, 

And some (if the truth be told) 
Not over-bold. 

A parson that night we had, 
And parsons there were but few, 
He'd come by the merest chance, 
And he summoned every lad 
That night in the wood in France, 

When silent most of us grew ; 

Weary, anxious, and cold, 

And some (if the truth be told) 
Not over-bold. 

Altar a packing-case rough ; 

Candles our last, and just two ; 

Chalice a mug, battered tin ; 

" Please God, He will think it enough, 

Now let our service begin." 
And silent all of us grew ; 
Kneeling, reverent, grave, 
Seeking (from Christ Who can save) 
Strength to be brave. 

There in the stillness of night, 

Though there wasn't a man but knew 

For certain, when daylight came 

He'd be in the thick of the fight, 

Right in the heart of the flame. 
Stronger each one of us grew ; 
Kneeling, resolute, grave, 
Gaining (from Christ Who can save) 
Strength to be brave. 

By kind permission ISABEL J. CORNWALL. 

of the Authoress. 



30 THESE WERE THE MEN 






YPRES CATHEDRAL. 



Hope and mirth are gone. Beauty is departed, 
Heaven's hid in smoke, if there's heaven still, 
Silent the city, friendless, broken-hearted, 
Crying in quiet, as a woman will. 
Oh ! for the sound here of a good man's laughter, 
Of one blind beggar singing in the street 
Where there's no sound, except a blazing rafter 
Falls, or the patter of a starved dog's feet. 

I have seen death, and comrades' crumpled faces, 
Yea, I have closed dear eyes with half a smile, 
But horror's in this havoc of old places 
Where driven men once rested from their hurry. 
And girls were happy for a little while, 
Forgiving, praying, singing, feeling sorry. 

W. G. SHAKESPEARE. 

From "Ypres and other Poems," 
by kind permission of the 
Author and of 
Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 31 






THREE HILLS. 



There is a hill in England, 

Green fields and a school I know, 

Where the balls fly fast in summer, 
And the whispering elm-trees grow. 

A little hill, a dear hill, 
And the playing fields below. 

There is a hill in Flanders 

Heaped with a thousand slain, 
Where the shells fly night and noontide 

And the ghosts that died in vain. 
A little hill, a hard hill, 

To the souls that died in pain. 

There is a hill in Jewry, 

Three crosses pierce the sky, 
On the midmost He is dying 
To save all those who die. 
A little hill, a kind hill 
To souls in jeopardy. 

EVERARD OWEN. 

By kind permission of 

the Author and of 

Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd. 



32 THESE WERE THE MEN 



ST. GEORGE'S DAY. 
Ypres, 1915. 



To fill the gap, to bear the brunt 

With bayonet and with spade, 
Four hundred to a four-mile front 

Unbacked and undismayed 
What men are these, of what great race, 

From what old shire or town, 
That run with such goodwill to face 

Death on a Flemish down ? 

Let be ! they bind a broken line : 

As men die, so die they. 
Land of thifree ! their life was thine, 
It is St. George's Day. 

Yet say whose ardour bids them stand 

At bay by yonder bank, 
Where a boy's voice and a boy's hand 

Close up the quivering rank, 
Who under those all-shattering skies 

Plays out his captain's part, 
With the last darkness in his eyes 

And Domum in his heart ? 

Let be, let be ! in yonder line 
All names are burned away. 

Land of his love I the fame be thine, 
It is St. George's Day. 

HENRY NEWBOLT. 

From " St. George's Day and 
other Poems," published by 
John Murray, by kind 
permission of the Author. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 33 
THE GUNS IN SUSSEX. 



Light green of grass and richer green of bush 

Slope upwards to the darkest green of fir ; 
How still ! How deathly still ! And yet the hush 

Shivers and trembles with some subtle stir, 
Some far-off throbbing, like a muffled drum, 

Beaten in broken rhythm oversea ; 
To play the last funereal march of some 

Who die to-day that Europe may be free. 

The deep-blue heaven curving from the green, 

Spans with its shimmering arch the flowery zone ; 
In all God's earth there is no gentler scene, 

And yet I hear that awesome monotone ; 
Above the circling midge's piping shrill, 

And the long droning of the questing bee, 
Above all sultry summer sounds, it still 

Mutters its ceaseless menaces to me. 

And as I listen all the garden fair 

Darkens to plains of misery and death, 
And looking past the roses I see there 

Those sordid furrows, with the rising breath 
Of all things foul and black. My heart is hot 

Within me as I view it, and I cry, 
" Better the misery of these men's lot 

Than all the peace that comes to such as I ! " 

And strange that in the pauses of the sound 

I hear the children's laughter as they roam, 
And then their mother calls, and all around 

Rise up the gentle murmurs of a home. 
But still I gaze afar, and at the sight 

My whole soul softens to its heart-felt prayer, 
" Spirit of Justice, Thou for whom they fight, 

Ah, turn in mercy to our lads out there ! " 



34 THESE WERE THE MEN 



" The fro ward peoples have deserved Thy wrath, 

And on them is the Judgment as of old, 
But if they wandered from the hallowed path 

Yet is their retribution manifold. 
Behold all Europe writhing on the rack, 

The sins of fathers grinding down the sons, 
How long, Lord ? " He sends no answer back, 

But still I hear the mutter of the guns. 

A. CONAN DOYLE. 

By kind permission 
of the Author. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 35 



INTO BATTLE. 



The naked earth is warm with spring, 

And with green grass and bursting trees 

Leans to the sun's gaze glorying, 

And quivers in the sunny breeze, 

And life is Colour, and Warmth, and Light, 

And a striving evermore for these, 

And he is dead who will not fight, 

And who dies fighting has increase. 

The fighting man shall from the sun 

Take warmth, and life from the glowing earth, 

Speed with the light-foot winds to run 

And with the trees to newer birth. 

And find, when fighting shall be done, 

Great rest, and fulness after dearth. 

All the bright company of Heaven 
Hold him in their high comradeship. 
The Dog-Star and the Sisters Seven, 
Orion's Belt and sworded hip, 
The woodland trees that stand together, 
They stand to him, each one, a friend, 
They gently speak in the windy weather 
They guide to valley and ridge's end. 

The kestrel hovering by day, 

And the little owls that call by night, 

Bid him be swift and keen as they, 

As keen of ear, as swift of sight : 

The blackbirds sing to him, " Brother brother, 

If this be the last song you shall sing, 

Sing well, for you may not sing another, 

Brother, sing." 



36 THESE WERE THE MEN 



In dreary doubtful waiting hours, 

Before the brazen frenzy starts 

The horses show him nobler powers, 

patient eyes, courageous hearts ! 

And when the burning moment breaks, 

And all things else are out of mind, 

And only joy of Battle takes 

Him by the throat, and makes him blind, 

Through joy and blindness he shall know, 
Not caring much to know, that still 
Nor lead nor steel shall reach him, so 
That it be not the Destined Will. 
The thundering line of battle stands, 
And in the air Death moans and sings, 
But day shall clasp him with strong hands, 
And night shall fold him in soft wings. 

JULIAN GRENFELL, D.S.O. 

By kind permission of 

the Rt. Hon. Lord Desborough 

and Erskine Macdonald, Ltd. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 37 



BACK TO REST. 



A leaping Wind from England, 
The skies without a stain, 
Clear cut against the morning, 
Slim poplars after rain, 
The foolish noise of sparrows 
And starlings in a wood, 
After the grime of battle 
We know that these are good. 

Death whining down from Heaven, 
Death roaring from the ground, 
Death stinking in the nostrils, 
Death shrill in every sound, 
Doubting we charged and conquered, 
Hopeless we struck and stood, 
Now when the fight is ended 
We know that it was good. 

We that have seen the strongest 

Cry like a beaten child, 

The sanest eyes unholy, 

The cleanest hands defiled, 

We that have known the heart-blood 

Less than the lees of wine, 

We that have seen man broken, 

We know man is divine. 

E. MELBOURNE. 

By kind permission of the 

Lord Bishop of St. Edmundsbury 

and Erskine Macdonald, Ltd. 



38 THESE WERE THE MEN 



A LISTENING POST, 



The sun's a red ball in the oak 
And all the grass is grey with dew, 

Awhile ago a blackbird spoke 
He didn't know the world's askew. 

And yonder rifleman and I 
Wait here behind the misty trees 

To shoot the first man that goes by, 
Our rifles ready on our knees. 

How could he know that if we fail 

The world may lay in chains for years, 

And England be a bygone tale, 

And right be wrong, and laughter tears ? 

Strange that this bird sits there and sings 
While we must only sit and plan 

Who are so much the higher things 
The murder of our fellow man. 

But maybe God will cause to be 

Who brought forth sweetness from the strong 
Out of our discords harmony 

Sweeter than that bird's song. 

R. E. VERNEDE. 

From " War Poems and other Verses," 
published by Wm. Heinemann, by 
kind permission of Mrs. Vernide. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 39 



AT RHEIMS. 



Their hearts were burning in their breasts 

Too hot for curse or cries, 
They stared upon the towers that burned 

Before their smarting eyes. 

There, where since France began to be, 

Anointed kings knelt down, 
There where the Maid, the unafraid, 

Received her vision's crown ; 

The senseless shell, with nightmare scream 

Burst, and fair fragments fell, 
Torn from their centuries of peace 

As by the rage of hell. 

What help for wrath, what use for wail ? 

Before a dumb despair 
All ancient, high, heroic France 

Seemed burning, bleeding, there. 

Within, the pillars soar to gloom 

Lit by the glimmering Rose ; 
Spirits of beauty shrined in stone 

Afar from mortal woes. 

Hearing not, though their haunted shade 

Is stricken, and all around 
With splintering flash and brutal crash 

The ghostly aisles resound. 

And there upon the pavement stretched 

The German wounded groan 
To see the dropping flames of death 

And feel the shells their own. 



40 THESE WERE THE MEN 



Too fierce the fire ! Helped by their foes 

They stagger out to air. 
The green-grey coats are seen and known 

Through all the crowded square. 

Ah ! now for vengeance ! Deep the groans, 

A death knell ! Quietly 
Soldiers unsling their rifles, lift 

And aim with steady eye. 

But sudden in the hush between 

Death and the doom there stands, 
Against those levelled guns, a priest 

Gentle, with outstretched hands. 

Be not as guilty as they, he cries . . . 

Each lets his weapon fall 
As if a vision showed him France 

And vengeance vain and small. 

LAURENCE BINYON. 

From "The Anvil," published 
by Elkin Matthews, by kind 
permission of the Author 



THESE WERE THE MEN 41 



VIN ROUGE, VIN BLANC. 



Vin rouge, vin blanc 

In a tumble-down shop 
By the side of the road. 

You can see, if you stop, 
How the shells have come in 

Through the roof and the wall, 
The chimney has gone, 

There's no window at all ; 
But a patchwork of sacking, 

Of cardboard and tin 
Keeps the good sunlight out 

And the cool darkness in. 



Vin rouge, vin blanc 

It's not far from the Line, 
An estaminet still, 

And besides good red wine 
They sell apples and plums, 

Fresh butter and bread, 
Tomatoes and "ceufs," 

While the shells overhead 
Go screaming and whistling 

Straight for the Hun, 
Or come whistling back 

Just to add to the fun. 

Vin rouge, vin blanc 
Madame stays in the shop 

Never caring how near 

^ The 5'9's drop. 

Sometimes they are far, 
Sometimes they are near ; 

You can still buy your wine, 
Bread, butter, or beer. 



42 THESE WERE THE MEN 



And then comes a day 

There's a crash, and a mess 

On the road to the Line. 
One estaminet less. 

Vin rouge, vin blanc 

In a tumble-down shop 
On the road to the Line, 

Where the 5'9's drop. 

O.C. PLATOON. 

By kind permission of the Author 
and of the " Westminster Gazette." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 43 



HOME THOUGHTS FROM LAVENTIE. 



Green gardens in Laventie ! 

Soldiers only know the street 
Where the mud is churned and splashed about 

By battle-wending feet : 
And yet beside one stricken house 

There is a glimpse of grass : 

Look for it when you pass. 

Beyond the church whose pitted spire 

Seems balanced on a strand 
Of swaying stone and tottering brick 

Two roofless ruins stand ; 
And here among the wreckage 

Where the back wall should have been 

We found a garden green. 

The grass was never trodden on, 

The little path of gravel 
Was overgrown with celandine : 

No other folk did travel 
Along its weedy surface but the nimble-footed mouse 

Running from house to house. 

So all among the tender blades 

Of soft and vivid grass 
We lay, nor heard the limber wheels 

That pass and ever pass 
In noisy continuity, until their stony rattle 

Seems in itself a battle. 

At length we rose from up this ease 

Of tranquil happy mind, 
And searched the garden's little length 

Some new pleasaunce to find, 
And there some yellow daffodil and jasmine hanging high 

Did rest the tired eye. 



44 THESE WERE THE MEN 



4+4^ 



The fairest and most fragrant 

Of the many sweets we found 
Was a little bunch of Daphne flower 

Upon a grassy mound. 
And so thick were the blossoms set, and so divine the scent 

That we were well content. 

Hungry for spring I bent my head, 

The perfume fanned my face, 
And all my soul was dancing 

In that lovely little place. 
Dancing with a measured step from wrecked and shattered towns 

Away . . . upon the Downs. 

I saw green banks of daffodil, 

Slim poplars in the breeze, 
Great tan-brown hares in gusty March 

A-courting on the leas, 
And meadows with their glittering streams, 
And silver scurrying dace 

Home, what a perfect place. 

E. WYNDHAM TENNANT. 

By kind permission of 

the Rt. Hon. Lady Glenconner. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 45 



ARRAS. 



I went and walked by Arras 
In the dim uncertain night ; 
I went and walked by Arras 
In the dazzling noonday light ; 
First, I saw a fairy glamour 
Later, 'twas another sight. 

Out by Arras in the night-time, 
Star-shells in the starlit sky 
Showered like wild silver raindrops 
From a fountain scattered high, 
Like the silver scales of fishes 
In the tideway curving by. 

Out by Arras in the night-time 
There were glints of red and green 
Like the glow of fairy camp-fires 
In some hidden high wood seen, 
Like the day-dawn of the night-land 
Where no man has ever been. 

Out by Arras in the day-time 

There stretched broad the sun-parched sand : 

Where together men and torture 

Lived with foul death hand in hand, 

Horror-stricken, God-forsaken, 

There stretched far the war-cursed land. 

And upon the stretches barren 
Far I saw the thousands lie, 
That the wind of war had blasted, 
Sweeping on without a sigh ; 
In the hollows huddled hundreds 
Who were not afraid to die. 

J. PETERSON. 

From "More Songs by the Fighting 
Men," by kind permission of 
Erskine Macdonald, Ltd. 



46 THESE WERE THE MEN 



IN FLANDERS' FIELDS. 



In Flanders' fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place, and in the sky 
The larks still bravely singing fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders' fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe. 
To you, from failing hands, we throw 
The torch : be yours to hold it high. 
If you break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders' fields. 

JOHN MACREE, LT.-COL, 

By kind permission of 
the Proprietors of "Punch," 



THESE WERE THE MEN 47 






THE REARGUARD. 



Out beyond in the shattered land 

The men of the rearguard lie, 
Who made that last, grim, desperate stand, 

Knowing they had to die ; 
Who fought and fell in the jaws of hell 

Ere ever the foe came by. 

Over their bones the great flood rolls, 

The flood of the men in grey, 
And never a passing bell there tolls 

For the spirits that wing their way 
Far from the field they scorned to yield 

And the riven and lifeless clay. 

But though their task on earth be done, 

Their brothers shall battle on, 
Aye, as at Ypres they held the Hun, 

Though the last of hope seemed gone, 
Till, bright as gold on our banner's fold 

The sun of victory shone ! 

TOUCHSTONE. 

By kind permission of 
the " Daily Mail/' 



48 THESE WERE THE MEN 



* *-* +MMMMMMM 



THE DEAD. 

*><*<. 

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead I 
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old, 
But dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold. 
These laid the world away ; poured out the red 
Sweet wine of youth ; gave up the years to be 
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene 
That men call age, and those who would have been 
Their sons they gave, their immortality. 

Blow, bugles, blow ! They brought us, for our dearth, 
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love and Pain. 
Honour has come back, as a King, to earth, 
And paid his subjects with a royal wage ; 
And Nobleness walks in our ways again, 
And we have come into our heritage. 

RUPERT BROOKE. 

By kind permission of 

Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 49 



SAFETY. 



Dear ! of all happy in the hour, most blest 
He who has found our hid security, 
Assured in the dark tides of the world that rest ; 
And heard our word, " Who is safe as we? " 
We have found safety with all things undying, 
The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth, 
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying, 
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth. 
We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing, 
We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever. 
War knows no power. Safe shall be my going, 
Secretly armed against all death's endeavour ; 
Safe though all safety's lost ; safe where men fall ; 
And if these poor limbs die, safest of all. 

RUPERT BROOKE. 

By kind permission of 

Messrs, Sidgwick S- Jackson, Ltdi 



50 THESE WERE THE MEN 



GIFTS OF THE DEAD. 



Ye who in sorrow's tents abide, 
Mourning your dead with hidden tears, 
Bethink ye what a wealth of pride 
They've won you for the coming years. 

Grievous the pain, but in the day 
When all the cost is counted o'er, 
Would it be best that ye should say 
We lost no loved one in the War ? 

Who knows? But proud then shall ye stand 
That best, most honoured boast to make : 
My lover died for his dear land, 
Or my son fell for England's sake. 

Christ-like they died that we might live, 
And our redeemed lives we would bring, 
With aught that gratitude may give, 
To serve you in your sorrowing. 

And never a pathway shall ye tread, 
No foot of sea-shore, hill or lea, 
But ye may think, the dead, my dead 
Gave this, a sacred gift, to me. 

HABBERTON LULHAM, 

By kind permission of the 
Author and of the "Spectator." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 51 



KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM. 



Weep, waves of England ! mother clay 
Was ne'er to nobler grave consigned : 

The wild waves weep with us to-day 
Who mourn a nation's master mind. 

We hoped an honoured age for him, 
And ashes laid with England's great : 

And rapturous music, and the dim 

Deep hush that veils our Tomb of State. 

But this is better. Let him sleep 

Where sleep the men who made us free, 

For England's heart is in the deep 
And England's glory is the sea. 

One only vow above his bier, 

One only oath beside his bed : 
We swear our flag shall shield him here 

Until the grave gives up its dead. 

Leap, waves of England ! Boastful be 

And fling defiance in the blast, 
For earth is envious of the sea 

Which shelters England's dead at last. 

ROBERT J. C. STEAD. 

From "Why Don't they Cheer," 
by kind permission of the Author 
and of T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. 



52 THESE WERE THE MEN 



EDITH CAVELL. 



What shall we say of you, Edith Cavell ? 
For you no flowers, and no passing bell, 
But one last upward look at a grey sky, 
And you, who watched so many others die, 
Did pass uncomforted, unhelped, alone. 
" Fearless and kind " this shall be carved in stone 
And set one day above an honoured grave 
" Others she saved, herself she could not save.'* 

MORAY DALTON. 

By kind permission of the 
Author and of the " Spectator." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 53 



A SOLDIER'S MOTHER. 



Just nineteen years ago, 

The birthday of her boy, 
The whole world seemed too small 

To hold her joy. 

To-day he died in France 

A comrade's life to save, 
And the whole world lies for her 

In one narrow grave. 

Yet the starry vault above, 

The world and ocean wide, 
Seem far too small to-night 
To hold her pride. 

H. V. P. 
By kind permission 
of the "Spectator." 



54 THESE WERE THE MEN 



SUBALTERNS. 
A Song of Oxford. 



They had so much to lose ; their radiant laughter 
Shook my old walls how short a time ago. 
I hold the echoes of the song hereafter 
Among the precious things I used to know. 

Their cup of life was full to overflowing, 

All earth had laid its tribute at their feet. 

What harvest might we hope from such a sowing, 

What noonday from a dawning so complete. 

And I I watched them working, dreaming, playing, 
Saw their young bodies fit the mind's desires, 
Felt them reach outward, upward, still obeying 
The passionate dictates of their hidden fires. 

Yet here and there some grey-beard breathed derision : 

" Too much of luxury, too soft an age ! " 

" Your careless Galahads will see no vision, 

" Your Knights will make no mark on honour's page. 

No mark ! Go, ask the broken fields of Flanders, 
Ask the great dead who watched in Ancient Troy, 
Ask the old moon, as round the world she wanders, 
What of the men who were my hope and joy ? 

They are but fragments of Imperial splendour, 
Handfuls of might amidst a mighty host, 
Yet I, who saw them go with proud surrender, 
May surely claim to love them best and most. 

They, who had all, gave all. Their half- writ story 
Lies in the empty halls they knew so well; 
But they, the Knights of God, shall see His Glory 
And find the Grail e'en in the fire of Hell. 

By kind permission MlLDRED HUXLEY 

of the Authoress and 
of the "Spectator." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 55 



KINGS OF MEN. 

V.C.8. 



I never thought as I could wish 
To be King Garge upon his throne : 

*' Nay, not for me," I allus said, 
"I'd liefer bide here on me own. 

" Free on the hillside 'long me sheep, 
I couldn't larn to live by book ! " 

I rackoned I'd be main put out 
To get his sceptre for me crook. 

But Sunday night I read the news 

What these here V.C. chaps has done 

Lor', but there never was the like, 
Not since the days o' man begun ! 

** Heroes," they calls 'em, " heroes " ! Well, 
That don't seem name enough by far ; 

Lor* love yer, by the things they do 
A hundred heroes each they are ! 

But what I mean to say be this : 
I envies young King Garge the days 

He pins the V.C.s on their coats 
An', mebbe, says a word o' praise. 

For he can look straight in the eyes 
As seed the gashy things they seen, 

Their eyes what never blinked nor blenched 
In all the hells where they have been. 

And he can hold the very hand 

What done some great tremenjous deed 

With bomb or baynit ; or what saved 
A pal as lay in desprit need. 



56 THESE WERE THE MEN 



To know such kings o' men as they 
Be proud to lay down life and limb 

For his sake ! well, I never thought 
To say it, but I envies him ! 

I should main like to meet they lads, 
An' shake 'em by the hands, I should 

There, I'd put up wi' being king 
Almost for luck like that I would. 

HABBERTON LULHAM. 

By kind permission of 
the Author and of 
the "Spectator." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 57 
A VERY HAPPY WARRIOR. 



It's cold of a night in the trenches, 

But old Fritz must be feeling the same, 

'E don't like the trench mortars and whizzbangs and mud, 

And 'e 'ates the barbed wire. 'E'd quit if 'e could, 

Cos Vs only a Boche and a 'eathen, 

But me ! Why ! I'm glad as I came. 

Biscuits is 'ard, and the bully 

Makes me throat like a roaring flame, 

I sleep in me clothes, and me boots don't come off, 

Me trousers is tore, I ain't much of a toff. 

But I've got a gold stripe on me tunic 

And some'ow I'm glad as I came. 

They're strafin' the *ole bloomin* morning, 

And all afternoon it's the same. 

The nights is like 'ell with Minnies and Crumps 

And pipsqueaks and shrapnel in blooming great lumps. 

Yet we've got the best of the contract 

And some'ow I'm glad as I came. 

Me brother-in-law's in Munitions, 
Drawing four quid a week at the game, 
*E's bought a pianner and lives on the fat, 
Sleeps in a bed with clean sheets and all that ; 
While I get a bob for a day and a night, 
Yet some'ow I'm glad as I came. 

For we're shovin* 'im out of 'is trenches 

An' making a bit of a name. 

It's worth 'undreds of quids to have been in the show, 

Knockin' spots off the 'Un An* no one can know, 

Unless they 'ave been in the scrappin', 

Just why I'm so glad as I came. 

O.C. PLATOON. 

By kind permission of 
the Author and of 
the "Spectator." 



58 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE PATROL. 



Five men over the parapet, with a one-star loot in charge, 
Stumbling along through the litter and muck and cursing blind 

and large, 
Hooking their gear in the clutching wire as they wriggle through 

the gap, t 
For an hour's patrol in No-Man 's-Land, and take what chance 

may hap. 

Over the sodden parapet and through the rusty wire, 

Out of touch with all good things, fellowship, light, and fire ; 

Every clattering bully-tin a Judas as we pass, 

At every star-shell, face to earth upon the sodden grass. 

From Misery Farm to Seven Trees it's safe enough to go, 
But it's belly-crawl down Dead Man's Ditch, half choked with 

grimy snow. 
Then back beside the grass-grown road Watch out ! They've 

got it set ! 
To where B Company's listening post lies shivering in the wet. 

All the dark's a mystery, and every breath's a threat 
I've forgotten many a thing, but this I shan't forget, 
A crawl by night in No-Man 's-Land, with never a sight or sound, 
Except the flares and the rifle-flash and the blind death whim- 
pering round. 

And I have failed at many a task, but this one thing I've learned : 
It's little things make Paradise like three hours' doss well 

earned, 

A fire of coke in a battered pail, and a gulp of ration rum, 
Or a gobbled meal of bully and mud, with the guns for a moment 

dumb. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 59 



And horror's not from the terrible things men torn to rags by 

a shell, 
And the whole trench swimming in blood and slush, like a 

butcher's shop in hell ; 
It's silence and night and the smell of the dead that shake a man 

to the soul, 
From Misery Farm to Dead Man's Ditch on a " Nil report " 

patrol. 

Five men back to the trench again, with a one-sfar loot in charge. 
Stumbling over the rusty tins and cursing blind and large. 
Enter the trench-log up to date by a guttering candle's flare I 
" No report " (save that hell is dark, and we have just been there). 



J. H. KNIGHT-ADKIN, Capt. Glosters. 



By kind permission of 
the Author and of 
the " Spectator." 



6o THESE WERE THE MEN 
THE INFANTRYMAN. 



The gunner rides on horseback, he lives in luxury, 

The sapper has his dug-out as cushy as can be, 

The flying man's a sportsman, but his home's a long way back 

In painted tent or straw-spread barn or cosy little shack ; 

Gunner and sapper and flying man (and each to his job, says I) 

Have tickled the Hun with mine or gun, or bombed him from 

on high, 

But the quiet work and the dirty work, ever since the War began, 
Is the work that never shows at all, the work of the Infantryman. 

The guns can pound the village, and smash the trenches in, 
And the Hun is fain for home again when the T.M.B.'s begin, 
And the Vickers' gun is a useful one to sweep a parapet, 
But the real work is the work that's done with bomb and bayonet. 
Load him down from heel to crown with tools and grub and kit, 
He's always there where the fighting is he's there unless he's 

hit. 

Over the mud and the blasted earth he goes where the living can, 
He's in at the death while he yet has breath, the British 

Infantryman. 

Trudge and slip on the shell-hole's lip, and fall in the clinging 

mire; 

Steady in front, go steady ! Close up there ! Mind the wire ! 
Double behind where the pathways wind ! Jump clear of the 

ditch, jump clear! 
Lost touch at the back ? Oh, halt in front ! and duck when 

the shells come near ! 

Carrying parties all night long, all day in a muddy trench, 
With your feet in the wet, and your head in the rain, and the 

sodden khaki's stench. 

Then over the top in the morning and onward all you can 
This is the work that wins the War, the work of the Infantryman. 

By kind permission of the 
Proprietors of "Punch." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 61 



V.A.D. 



There's an angel in our ward as keeps flittin' to and fro 
With fifty eyes upon her wherever she may go : 
She's as pretty as a picture and as bright as Mercury, 
And she wears the cap and apron of a V.A.D. 

The Matron she is gracious and the Sister she is kind, 

But they wasn't born just yesterday, and lets you know their 

mind, 

The M.O. and the Padre is as thoughtful as can be, 
But they ain't so good to look at as our V.A.D. 

She's a honourable Miss because her father is a dook, 
But, Lord, you'd never guess it, and it ain't no good to look 
For her portrait in the illustrated papers, for you see 
She ain't an advertiser, not our V.A.D. 

Not like them that wash a tea-cup in an orficer's canteen 
And then " Engaged in War Work " in the weekly press is seen ; 
She's on the trot from morn till night, and busy as a bee, 
And there's 'caps of wounded Tommies bless that V.A.D. 

She's the lightest 'and at dressin's, and she polishes the floor, 
She feeds Bill Smith who'll never never use 'is 'ands no more, 
And we're all of us supporters of the harristocracy 
'Cos our weary days are lightened by that V.A.D. 

And when the War is over, some Knight or belted Earl 
What's survived from killin' Germans will take 'er for his girl ; 
They'll go and see the pictures and then 'ave shrimps and tea ; 
'E's a lucky man as gets 'er, and don't I wish 'twas me. 

By kind permission of the 
Proprietors of "Punch-." 



62 THESE WERE THE MEN 

THE COOKERS. 
A Song of the Transport. 

The officers' kit and the long low limbers, 

The Maltese cart and the mules go by 
With a sparkle of paint and speckless timbers, 

With a glitter of steel to catch the eye ; 
But the things I like are the four black chimneys 

And the smoke-tails scattering down the wind. 
For these are the Cookers, the Company Cookers, 

The cosy old Cookers that crawl behind. 

The Company Cooks are mired and messy, 

Their cheeks are black but their boots are not ; 
The Colonel says they must be more dressy, 

And the General says he'll have them shot ; 
They hang their packs on the four black chimneys, 

They're a grubby disgrace, but we don't mind 
As long as the Cookers, the jolly black Cookers, 

The filthy old Cookers are close behind. 

For it's only the Cooks can make us perky, 

When the road is rainy and cold and steep, 
When the songs die down, and the step gets jerky, 

And the Adjutant's horse is fast asleep ; 
And it's bad to look back for the four black chimneys 

But never a feather of smoke to find, 
For it means that the Cookers, the crazy old cookers, 

The rickety Cookers are ditched behind. 

The Company Cook is no great fighter, 

And there's never a medal for him to wear, 
Though he camps in the shell-swept waste, poor blighter, 

And many a cook has "copped it " there ; 
But the boys go over on beans and bacon, 

And Tommy is best when Tommy has dined, 
So here's to the Cookers, the plucky old Cookers, 

And the sooty old Cooks that waddle behind. 
By kind permission of 
the Proprietors of "Punch." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 63 



GUN TEAMS. 



Their rugs are sodden, their heads are down, their tails are 

turned to the storm. 
(Would you know them, you that groomed them in the sleek 

fat days of peace, 
When the tiles rang to their pawings in the lighted stalls, and 

warm, 
Now the foul clay cakes on breeching-strap and clogs the 

quick-release ?) 

The blown rain stings, there is never a star, the tracks are 

rivers of slime : 
(You must harness-up by guesswork with a failing torch for 

light, 

Instep-deep in unmade standings ; for it's active service time, 
And our resting weeks are over, and we move the guns to-night.) 

The iron tyres slither, the traces sag, their blind hooves stumble 

and slide ; 
They are war-worn, they are weary, soaked with sweat and 

sopped with rain : 
(You must hold them, you must help them, swing your lead 

and centre wide 
Where the greasy granite pave peters out to squelching drain.) 

There is shrapnel bursting a mile in front on the road that the 

guns must take : 
(You are thoughtful, you are nervous, you are shifting in your 

seat, 
As you watch the ragged feathers flicker orange, flame and 

break) : 
But the teams are pulling steady down the battered village 

street. 



64 THESE WERE THE MEN 



You have shod them cold, and their coats are long, and their 

bellies stiff with the mud ; 
They have done with gloss and polish, but the fighting heart's 

unbroke, 
We, who saw them hobbling after us down white roads flecked 

with blood, 
Patient, wondering why we left them, till we lost them in 

the smoke ; 

Who have felt them shiver between our knees, when the shells 

rain black from the skies, 
When the bursting terrors find us, and the lines stampede 

as one ; 
Who have watched the pierced limbs quiver and the pain in 

stricken eyes ; 
Know the worth of humble servants, foolish-faithful to their 

gun. 

GILBERT FRANKAU. 

By kind permission of the Author 
and of Messrs. Chatto & Windus. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 65 



A SONG OF WINTER WEATHER. 



It isn't the foe that we fear ; 

It isn't the bullets that whine ; 

It isn't the business career 

Of a shell ; or the burst of a mine ; 

It isn't the snipers who seek 

To nip our young hopes in the bud. 

No, it isn't the guns 

And it isn't the Huns 

It's the Mud, 

Mud, 
Mud. 

It isn't the melee we mind 
That often is rather good fun, 
It isn't the shrapnel we find 
Obtrusive when rained by the ton ; 
It isn't the bounce of the bombs 
That gives us a positive pain. 
It's the strafing we get 
When the weather is wet 
It's the Rain, 

Rain, 
Rain. 

It isn't because we lack grit 

We shrink from the horrors of war : 

We don't mind the battle a bit, 

In fact that is what we are for ; 

It isn't the rum- jars and things 

Make us wish we were back in the fold 

It's the fingers that freeze 

In the boreal breeze 

It's the Cold, 

Cold, 
Cold. 



66 THESE WERE THE MEN 



Oh, the rain, the mud, and the cold, 
And the cold, the mud, and the rain : 
With weather at zero, it's hard for a hero 
From language that's rude to refrain. 
With porridgy muck to the knees, 
With sky that's a-pouring a flood, 
Sure the worst of our foes 
Are the pains and the woes 
Of the Rain, 

the Cold, 
and the Mud. 

ROBERT SERVICE. 

From "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man," 
by kind permission of 
T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 67 



THANKSGIVING. 



Thank Pan for flowers 

That grow along the trench, 

Poppies in blazing patches, 

Cornflowers, clear blue against the blue sky 

And slender scabious that catches 

The first thin light of morning in its petals. 

Down from the chalk 

Hang twisted strands of purple vetch, 

And as you walk 

Pale ivory of heart 's-ease peeps at you 

Along the parados 

With spurge and saxifrage all golden green, 

While from below 

Climb up the grasses and the shepherd's 'purse. 

Thistles in poppy blue 

To meet the spotted orchis at the top ; 

And showing primly through, 

The scarlet pimpernel, speedwell and charlock, 

May-weed and mignonette, 

Sweet blue forget-me-not, all in my garden 

Along the parapet. 

But 'most of all, I love the poppies blazing 

In fragile loveliness 

And pure clean colour, making beautiful 

Our sandbagged wilderness. 

All thanks to Pan for flowers that grow 

Along thejrench. 

O.C. PLATOON. 

By kind permission 
of the Author. 



68 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE HEALERS. 

* * , 

In the vision of the night I saw them, 

In the battles of the night ; 
'Mid the roar and the reeling shadows of blood 

They were moving like light. 

Light of the reason guarded 

Tense within the will, 
As a lantern under a tossing of trees 

Burns steady and still. 

With scrutiny calm, and with fingers 

Patient as swift, 
They bind up the hurt, and the pain-ridden 

Bodies uplift. 

And defend not themselves though around them 

With a shriek in its breath 
Bursts blind from the terrible horizon 

Impersonal death. 

Unhelped by the fury of the pulses 

That stays not to feel, 
They endure to be tearlessly tender, 

In their gentleness, steel ! 

They endure to have eyes of a watcher 

In Hell and not blanch. 
But the wounds of the mind they are stricken with 

Who shall stanch ? 

Man true to man to his kindness 

That overflows all 
To his spirit erect in the thunder 

When all his forts fall. 

This light through the tiger-mad welter 

They cherish, they save. 
What song shall be worthy to sing of them 

Braver than the brave ? 

LAURENCE BINYON. 

From the " Winnowing Fan," 
published by Elkin Matthews, 
by kind permission of the Author. "] 



THESE WERE THE MEN 69 



IN A HOSPITAL. 



Sister, sister ! Can't you hear the humming, 

Swelling ever louder in the clear and moonlit sky ? 
Aye, I know it well, the sound that tells the Boche is coming, 

Get you to the shelter now while yet there's time to fly. 
Curse them for a dirty crew, they know the game they're playing, 

Making war on mangled flesh that can but lie and moan, 
Still you cannot help us here, so what's the use of staying ? 

Get to shelter, sister, I can stick it on my own. 

Sister, sister ! Hark the bombs are falling. 

Nearer, ever nearer, comes the tide of wounds and death, 
Spatter of machine-guns to swell a din appalling, 

Acrid fumes that reek of hell and grip the strangling breath ! 
I can do without my drink and count myself in clover ; 

I can carry on a treat if only you will go, 
Only for a little while until the strafe is over. 

Get to shelter, sister dear, this ain't a woman's show. 

Sister, sister ! Ah ! the dark stain growing 

There beside the cross of love and mercy on your breast, 
Proudly to the cruel foe the badge of courage showing, 

What have we to give to you who gave us of your best ? 
God, who chasteneth His own by pain and tribulation, 

Make my body whole and sound against the coming day. 
Vengeance, Lord, is Thine, but hear Thy servant's supplication, 

Make of me Thine instrument whene'er Thou shalt repay ! 

TOUCHSTONE. 

By kind permission 
of the "Daily Mail." 



70 THESE WERE THE MEN 



TO A SOLDIER IN HOSPITAL. 

'g/ "%< ^ 

Courage came to you with your boyhood's grace 

Of ardent life and limb, 
Each day new dangers steeled you to the test 

To ride, to climb, to swim. 
Your hot blood taught you carelessness of death 

With every breath. 

So when you went to play another game 

You could not but be brave : 
An Empire's team a rougher football field, 

The end, perhaps your grave. 
What matter ? On the winning of a goal 

You staked your soul. 

Yes, you wore courage as you wore your youth 

With carelessness and joy. 
But in what Spartan school of discipline 

Did you get patience, boy ? 
How did you learn to bear this long-drawn pain 

And not complain ? 

Restless with throbbing hopes, with thwarted aims 

Impulsive as a colt 
Death would have found you brave, but braver still 

You face each lagging day 
A merry stoic, patient, chivalrous. 

Divinely kind and gay 
You bear your knowledge lightly, graduate 

Of unkind fate. 

Careless philosopher, the first to laugh, 

The latest to complain, 
Unmindful that you teach, you taught me this 

In your great fight with pain : 
Since God made man so good here stands my creed : 

God's good indeed. 

W. M. LETTS. 

From " Hallow E'en," 

published by John Murray, 

by kind permission of the Publishers. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 71 



IN THE WARD. 

/a, <& ^ 

Dramin' ? Iv course. Iv the slushy trench, 

The duck-boards slippy and wet, 

And mates iv me own that stand on guard 

Be the back iv the parapet 

Laughin' betimes ? Iv course I am 

Oh, that pain in me side ! 

But I must keep it up for the old pals' sake 

And the old battalion's pride. 

" Stick it when things are aisy enough ! " 

That was our fightin* plan 

" Stick it like hell when things are rough 

And show yer worth as a man ! " 

Easy in sayin', but hard indeed 

And still to a man we claim 

We've stuck it out for our own respect 

And the old battalion's name. 

Laughin' I am 1 ... Oh, Sister, dear, 

Don't press that place so hard, 

Or maybe I'll squeal for the boys to hear, 

The wounded boys in the ward. . . . 

Finished the job ? . . . And I've held me whisht 

But oh ! the pain in me side 

Still, fellows must bear for the old pals' sake 

And the old battalion's pride. 

PATRICK MACGILL. 

By kind permission of 
the "Westminster Gazette " 
and of the Author. 



72 THESE WERE THE MEN 



FEALTY. 
(A True Incident.) 



Led through the busy London street, 
With bandaged eyes a Captain passed, 

Head up, with bravely stepping feet 
But blind while life should last. 

Two lads in khaki met him so, 

Raw soldiers raised on English farms, 

But, in salute he might not know, 
Up shot their ready arms. 

Cold discipline might claim its part, 
But, for the eyes that could not see, 

Leapt warm the finely loyal heart, 
The soul of fealty. 

HABBERTON LULHAM. 

By kind permission 
of the Author and of 
the "Daily Mail." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 73 



HOME THOUGHTS. 
Aden. 



The hot red rocks of Aden 
Stand from their burnished sea ; 
The bitter sands of Aden 
Lie shimmering in the lee. 

We have no joy of battle 
No honour here is won ; 
Our little fights are nameless, 
With Turk, and Sand, and Sun. 

East and West the greater wars 
Swirl wildly up and down ; 
Forgotten here, and sadly 
We hold the Port and Town. 

The great round trees of England 
Swell nobly from the grass, 
The dark green fields of England 
Through which the red cows pass, 

The wild-flowered lanes of England 
Hurt us with vain desire ; 
The little wayside cottage 
The clanging blacksmith's fire. 

The salt dry sands of Aden, 
The bitter sun-cursed shore ; 
Forget us not in England ! 
We cannot serve you more. 



kind permission 
"The Times." 



74 THESE WERE THE MEN 



GALLIPOLI. 



It was hot in Gallipoli ! 

The chaps said it was well, 

A first-class imitation 

Of a place that's known as Hell. 

That shows some limitation, 

For with the heat and smell 

It was no imitation 

But beat the other well. 

The temperature was very high 
You'd to climb up on a hill 
If you wished to get a glimpse of it 
I believe, it's rising still. 
The flies ! God bless them 
That is not exactly what is meant 
They were the biggest nuisance 
To tease poor mortals sent. 

They got into one's nostrils, 

They gathered in one's tea, 

They crawled into one's eyes sometimes 

Till one could hardly see. 

But of all the deadly dangers 

That did in darkness lurk 

There was nothing equal, strangers, 

To our friend old Johnny Turk. 

By jingo, he was cunning ! 

He would coat himself with clay, 

He'd tie a bush upon his head 

And he'd snipe both night and day 

One day we got a lady 

Who lived up in a tree, 

She'd killed some fifty of our chaps, 

The discs were there to see. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 75 



God never made that country, 

The devil took a hand ; 

Why we should want it from the Turk 

I could not understand. 

Myself, I was quite lucky ; 

With life I got away, 

Although I left my left leg there 

As a sort of legacy. 

W. DE Bois MACLAREN, 

From "Word Pictures of War," 
by kind permission of the Author. 



76 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE DARDANELLES. 



Why do you grieve for us who lie 
At our lordly ease by the Dardanelles ? 
We have no need for tears or sighs, 
We who passed in the heat of fight 
Into the soft Elysian light : 
Proud of our part in the great emprise, 
We are content. We had our day 
Brief but splendid crowned with power 
And brimming with action : every hour 
Shone with a glory none gainsay. 

How can you grieve ? We are not lone, 

There are other graves by the Dardanelles. 

Men whom immortal Homer sang 

Come to our ghostly camp fires* glow. 

Greet us as brothers and tell us " Lo, 

So to our deeds old Troy rang." 

Thus will the ages beyond our ken 

Turn to our story, and having read 

Will say with proudly uncovered head 

And reverent breath, " Oh, God, they were men.' 



By kind permission of 
M. Parkinson. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 77 



DEFENDERS OF KUT. 



Splendour of England ! where you send the sword, 

Bared in the glare of battle near at hand, 

Or leading some dim distant hope forlorn, 

Your sons your champions never fail your troth. 

England thank God, thank God for this His gift ! 

Because you bid them, straight into the Wild 

Marched out some twenty thousand of your sons 

Where help was not, nor hopeful enterprise, 

Nor any guerdon there they fought and won, 

And there the flooding tide of mortal odds 

Swept victory away and cut them off. 

Then snatched your sons a triumph of the soul 

More splendid than victorious feat of arms, 

And from despair made manifest your race. 

Trapped in the river noose, trapped by the foe, 

Trapped by the bog's insistent strangle-hold, 

They yielded nothing, mightily at bay. 

High-hearted came the signal : " We can hold 

" Three months " Dear God, for five long months they held 1 

Held in the face of every dark assault 

Of death, that yet denied the fighting chance, 

The zest and glow of battle near at hand, 

While in the rear the foe no man may fight, 

The traitor Famine stealthily attacked. 

Dawn after dawn they searched the deadly flats, 

The merciless horizon, ever void ; 

Mocked by the phantom trust in rescue near. 

The thrilling promise of the calling guns 

Still unfulfilled through all the dragging days. 

(They never knew relief that came so close 

Grappled a force malign beyond the foe. 

How many fought and died for them in vain ?) 

High overhead bright wings of liberty, 

Carriers from home that dropped a seed of hope, 



78 THESE WERE THE MEN 



++ **+ .4 +**++ 



Came flaunting high the freedom of the air, 
Circled and fled across the boundless blue, 
Leaving the bleak slow rage of impotence 
To sap the heart and life that must abide. 
Then from gaunt faces, eyes met watching eyes 
And read the truth and saw the last hope die. 
With all of human strength, and human aid 
Gone, and the naked hands alone to guard 
Unarmed the starving body still they held ! 
Till nearing death's august release, they heard 
Your final word and at your feet laid down 
The keys of liberty, the utmost gift. 

Father of Valour ! God of dauntless Will ! 

We, England's children, praise Thy name for these ! 

BEATRIX BRICE. 

By kind permission 
of the Authoress. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 79 



THE BATTLE OF THE BIGHT. 



Had I the fabled herb 
Which brought to life the dead, 
Whom would I dare disturb 
In his eternal bed? 
Great Grenville would I wake 
And with glad tidings make 
The soul of mighty Drake 
Upheave a glorying head. 

As rose the misty sun, 
Our men the North Sea scanned, 
And each rejoicing gun, 
Welcomed a foe at hand, 
Eager with thunderous throat 
To sound for all afloat 
The world awakening note 
The world can understand. 

For e'en as birds of night, 
Hoary and tawny owl, 
Do sometimes brave the light 
Like bolder, nobler fowl, 
So did the foe that day 
Come venturing forth for prey, 
Where on the ocean way 
Our ocean watchdogs prowl. 

But brief and plain, 'mid men 
Not born to yield or flee, 
Our cannon spoke out then 
The speech that keeps us free. 
And battered, with hoarse boom, 
Four warships to their doom, 
While one to a fiercer tomb 
Fled blazing down the sea. 



8o THESE WERE THE MEN 



Sleep on, Drake, sleep well, 
In days not wholly dire ! 
Grenville, whom naught could quell, 
Unquenched is still thy fire, 
And thou that hadst no peer, 
Nelson, thou needst not fear ! 
Thy sons and heirs are here, 
And shall not shame their sire. 

WILLIAM WATSON. 

From "The Man who Saw," 
by kind permission 
of the Author. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 81 



"THE SEA IS HIS." 

+ ' * 

The sea is His : He made it. 

Black gulf and sunlit shoal, 
From barriered bight to where the long 

Leagues of Atlantic roll : 
Small strait and ceaseless ocean 

He bade each one to be : 
The sea is His : He made it 

And England keeps it free. 

By pain and stress and striving 

Beyond the nation's ken, 
By vigils stern when others slept, 

By many lives of men : 
Through nights of storm, through dawnings 

Blacker than midnights be, 
This sea that God created 

England has kept it free. 

Count me the splendid captains 

Who sailed with courage high 
To chart the perilous ways unknown, 

Tell me where these men lie ! 
To light a path for ships to come 

They moored at Dead Man's quay ; 
The sea is God's He made it, 

And these men made it free. 

Oh, little land of England, 

Oh, Mother of hearts too brave, 
Men say this trust shall pass from thee 

Who guardest Nelson's grave. 
Aye, but these braggarts yet shall learn, 

Who'd hold the land in fee, 
The sea is God's and England, 

England shall keep it free. 

R. E. VERNEDE. 

Front " War Poems and other Verses," 

published by Wm. Heinemann, 

by kind permission of Mrs. Vernede. 



82 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE MINE SWEEPERS. 



" Ware mine ! " 
" Starboard your helm ! . . . Full speed ahead ! " 

The squat craft duly swings : 
A hand's-breadth off, a thing of dread 

The sullen breaker flings. 

Carefully, slowly, patiently 

The men of Grimsby Town 
Grope their way on the rolling sea 
The storm-swept, treacherous, grey North Sea 

Keeping the death rate down. 

Cold is the wind as the gates of death, 
Howling a dirge with its biting breath, 
Tearing rude music from rigging taut 
The tune with deadly omen fraught. 
" Look to yourselves, oh sailors bold, 

I am the one ye know of old ! 
I make my sport with such as ye, 
The game that is played on every sea, 
With death as the loser's penalty ! " 

Valiantly, stoutly, manfully, 
The trawlers fight the gale : 
Buoyant they ride on the rolling sea 
The storm-swept, treacherous grey North Sea 
Lashed by the North Wind's flail. 

Cruel the waves of that ocean drear, 
Whelming the heart with a palsying fear, 
Hurling their might on the stagg'ring craft, 
Crashing aboard of her fore and aft. 
Buffeting, pounding, a dreadful force 
Sweeping her decks, as she hugs her course. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 83 



Little they care, come wind or wave, 
The men of Grimsby Town, 
There are mines to destroy, and lives to save, 
And they take the risk, these sailormen brave, 
With a laugh and a joke, or a rollicking stave, 
As the gear goes plunging down. 

Honour the trawler's crew, 
For fear they never knew ! 
Now on their quest they go 
With measured tack and slow 
Seeking the hidden fate 
Strewn with a devilish hate. 

Death may come in a terrible form, 
Death in a calm or death in a storm, 
Death without warning, stark and grim, 
Death with a tearing of limb from limb, 
Death in a horrible, hideous guise : 
Such is the mine-sweeper's sacrifice ! 
Careless of terrors and scornful of ease, 
Stolid and steadfast, they sweep the seas. 

Cheerfully, simply, fearlessly, 

The men of Grimsby Town, 
Do their bit on the rolling sea 
The storm-swept, treacherous, grey North Sea 
Doing their duty unflinchingly, 
Keeping the death rate down. 

H. INGAMELLS. 

By kind permission of 
ihe Author and of the 
"Spectator." 



84 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE WINDS. 



Oh ! Winds, who seek, and seek the whole world over, 
Changing from South to North, from heat to cold, 
Many and strange the things that you discover, 
Changing from West to East, from new to old. 

" Seek out and say, my sailor is he living ? " 
" Oh, foolish mother ! " dreaming winds would tell ! 
The winds are deaf with thunder, dumb with grieving, 
Who heeds a boy when all the world is Hell ? 

You seek a boy ! For all the millions dying 
Who drown at sea, or landward fighting fall, 
The winds have heard the voice of women crying, 
" Where is my love who dying takes my all ? " 

" When Kings and Captains die the World regrets them ; 
My boy is proud to serve the self-same State, 
Proud though he die and all the World forget him, 
I will not grudge him, for the Cause is great." 

By kind permission 
of "The Times." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 85 



VILLANELLE OF VILLANY. 



Sink them, and leave no trace 
Of cargo, nor crew, nor boat 
Whelm all 'neath our disgrace. 

Grant not the slightest grace, 
Leave not a corpse afloat, 
Sink them, and leave no trace. 

O'er ocean's pathless space 
Avenging warships float, 
Hide ye, and our disgrace. 

Tear from the child's embrace 
The toy that some eye might note. 
Sink them, and leave no trace. 

So that on crime so base 

The fiend in the depths may gloat, 

Sink them, and our disgrace. 

One in the Kaiser's place 
Thus for his master wrote, 
Whelm all 'neath our disgrace ; 
Sink them, and leave no trace. 

CHARLES DARLING. 

By kind permission 
of the Author. 



86 THESE WERE THE MEN 



HAWKS. 



The sky is full of our wings from here to the Balkans ; 
The bounds have never been fashioned we cannot break through. 
We are the kestrels, the gledes, the peregrine falcons ; 
The strikers, the killers, the Kings of the clouded blue. 

At morn we glide from our nest, we climb and we hover, 
And far on the edge of the purple, gather and form ; 
The highways of Heaven are ours, and under and over 
The rain and the sunlight, and round us the rolling storm. 

We meet with merciless foes in our Kingdom flying ; 
With spiral and circle we parry their stoop and stroke ; 
With beak and talon we drive them down, and dying 
They fall in a world of battle and fade in smoke. 

The sky is full of our wings from here to the Balkans, 
The storm has never yet wakened we cannot win through ; 
We are the kestrels, the gledes, the peregrine falcons, 
And woe to the enemy wings we meet and pursue. 

WILL H. OGILVIE. 

By kind permission of 

the Author and of the "Field." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 87 



THE AIRMAN. 



I pass the height 
Of the eagle's flight 
In the central blue ; 
My glass defies 
The vulture's eyes 
To see more true. 

As I cross the seas 
I feel the breeze 
Blow in my face ; 
For the fiercest wind 
Is left behind 
In my rapid race. 

I scan the line 
Of trench and mine 
And new-made fort ; 
Each gun I trace 
To its lurking place 
And bring report. 

And thus I soar 
O'er mountains hoar, 
Valley and rill- 
That the chief may know 
What does the foe 
" Behind the hill." 

As above the plain 
Of wide Champagne 
Hovers a hawk ; 
O'er the startled foe 
In the trench below 
My engines talk. 



88 THESE WERE THE MEN 



Ready to flit 
The Zeppelins sit 
In the aerodrome ; 
To baulk their spite 
At dead of night 
I drop a bomb. 

From a curtain of cloud 
A foeman proud 
Looms in the sky ; 
And of him and me 
Tis plain to see 
That one must die. 

In spirals we rise 
As each one tries 
Vantage to gain : 
Till at last the Hun 
From his maxim gun 
Showers the rain. 

From a tongue of flame 
With deadlier aim 
Issues my lead : 
The pilot bold 
Loosens his hold 
And falls back dead. 

Who would not be 
An airman free 
Riding the blast ? 
Laughing at fate 
Which soon or late 
Strikes all at last. 

H. A. NESBITT. 

By kind permission 
of the Author. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 89 



THE FOURTH CHRISTMAS. 



" Oh, shepherd, shepherd, did you see, 

Before day broke, one gleaming star ? " 
Flashes of light continually 

Where the contending armies are, 
But no star shining overhead 

To show a way to the three Kings ; 
Only a sunrise streaked with red 

And spattered with the broad black wings 
Of crows that seek their meat from God 
Along the roads that men have trod. 

" Shepherd, shepherd, what did you hear, 

Before the dawn, as you watched your sheep ? " 
No angel voice rang sweet and clear, 

The night was cold, I could not sleep 
As I lay out upon the hill. 

In that dark hour I never heard 

Even the twitter of a bird 
Dreaming beside its mate, but still 
Where far below the river runs 
The ceaseless thunder of the guns. 

" Oh, shepherd, shepherd, you must know 

The Son of God Himself was born 
In a poor stable long ago 

On such another Winter's morn ? " 
My boy and I in other years 

Together watched our hillside fold, 

But he was young and I am old ... 
To-day He sees a father's tears 
Who knew a Father's pride and loss 
Between that stable and the Cross. 

MORAY DALTON. 

By kind permission of the 
Author and of the "Spectator." 



90 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE WINDMILL. 
A Song of Victory. 



Yes, it was all like a garden glowing 

When first we came to the hill-top there, 
And we laughed to know that the Bosch was going, 

And laughed to know that the land was fair. 
Acre by acre of green fields sleeping, 

Hamlets hid by the tufts of wood, 
And out of the trees were church-towers peeping 

And away on a hillock the Windmill stood. 

Then, ah then, 'twas a land worth winning, 
And now there is naught but the naked clay ; 

But I can remember the Windmill spinning 
And the four sails shone in the sun that day. 

But the guns came after, and tore the hedges, 

They stripped the spinnies and churned the plain, 
And a man walks now on the windy ledges 

And looks for a feather of green in vain : 
Acre by acre the sad eye traces 

The rust-red bones of the earth laid bare, 
And the sign-posts stand in the market places 

To say that a village was builded there. 

But better the French fields stark and dying 
Than ripe for a conqueror's fat content. 

And I can remember the mill-sails flying, 

Yet I cheered with the rest when the Windmill went 

Away to the east the grassland surges 

Acre by acre across the line, 
And we must go on to the end like scourges 

Though the wilderness stretch from Sea to Rhine. 
But I dream some days of a great Reveille 

When the buds shall burst in the blasted wood, 
And the children chatter in Death Trap Alley 

And a Windmill stand where the Windmill stood. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 91 



And we that remember the Windmill spinning, 

We may go under, but not in vain, 
For our sons shall come in the new beginning 

And see that the Windmill spins again. 

A. P. H. 

By kind permission of the 
Proprietors of "Punch." 



Q2 THESE WERE THE MEN 
LILLE, 1918. 



The grey men are marching out of Lille, 
Not now with guns and helmets bright 
But stealing out at dead of night, 
With dread of what may be their fate, 
Knowing they've earned the people's hate : 
Fearing, they creep from Lille. 

Our khaki men are marching into Lille, 
With heads erect and eyes alight, 
Men who have fought a noble fight, 

Men who have bought with blood their name 

And record of undying fame, 

Proudly they march through Lille. 

And the women are watching still in Lille, 
They suffered through the German greed, 
They watched each dark and cruel deed, 
They struggled on through night till morn, 
Waiting in hope that day would dawn, 
What joy they have in Lille. 

The prisoners are going out of Lille, 
Weak from long months of toil and stress, 
Starved but for women whom they bless. 
Hungry and ragged, footsore, worn, 
Brave hearts with sufferings nobly borne. 
Thus they come home from Lille. 

The joy bells are ringing loud in Lille, 
The flags are fluttering in the air, 
The very sunshine seems more fair. 
The women weep in sheer delight 
And once again their world seems bright, 
For Victors they are in Lille. 

N. D. 

By kind permission 
of the Authoress. 



THESE WERE THE MEN 93 



PEACE. 



Some day of days the peace will come 
The houses break to banners gay ; 

With trumpet and the sound of drum 
The people make high holiday. 

Go quietly, oh, people dear, 

Because a broken heart may hear. 

From Land's End unto John o* Groats 
What bonfires shall light up the skies ! 

The shouting of a myriad throats 
Shall to the startled heavens arise. 

But Rachel weeping for her dead, 

Weeps on, and is not comforted. 

The men will march a-down the street, 
The broken boys that were so bright : 

What of the unreturning feet 

That will not come by day or night ? 

The darling heads that lie alone, 

This one and that one's little son. 

Red Armageddon shall be past, 

The Thousand Years of Peace begin. 

No roll of drum or bugle blast 

Shall wake the sleepers with their din, 

Or lift the broken heart again 

Behind the shuttered window-pane. 

KATHARINE TYNAN. 

By kind permission 
of thf Authoress. 



94 THESE WERE THE MEN 



THE OLD FLAG: TO A "CONTEMPTIBLE. 



Your Mother packed them up herself, 
When your old toys were sent away : 

And yet 

She chose to treasure some, and set 
Your old flag back upon its shelf 
Perchance to wait a better day. 

1914 ! She packed again : 

You turned the old room inside out, 

And met 

My dusty corner : *' Don't forget, 
Mother, this flies for Victory.'* Then 
The old Contemptibles went out. 

Long I lay furled and out of sight. 
Your cap and sword came back that May. 

They set 

Them in the place of honour : yet 
She came to me sometimes at night : 
I was content to wait my day. 

Oh, did they fail you when it came ? 
Nay, not in vain on glory's field 

You met 

Your gallant end. They proudly set 
Me fluttering high to share your fame 
When cannons boomed and joybells pealed. 

Oh, Laddie, have you seen me wave 
O'er the old home you died to save ? 

CORRIE BLAKE. 

By kind permission of 
the "Westminster Gazette." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 95 



THE TRUST. 



They trusted God Unslumbering and unsleeping 

He sees and sorrows for a world at war, 

His ancient covenant securely keeping ; 

And these had seen His promise from afar, 

That through the pain, the sorrow, and the sinning, 

That righteous Judge the issue should decide 

Who ruleth over all from the beginning 

And in that faith they died. 

They trusted England Scarce the prayer was spoken 

Ere they beheld what they had hungered for, 

A mighty country with its ranks unbroken, 

A city built in unity once more : 

Freedom's best champion, girt for yet another 

And mightier enterprise for Right defied, 

A land whose children live to serve their Mother 

And in that faith they died. 

And us they trusted : we the task inherit, 

The unfinished task for which their lives were spent ; 

But leaving us a portion of their spirit 

They gave their witness and they died content. 

Full well they knew they could not build without us 

That better country, faint and far descried, 

God's own true England : but they did not doubt us 

And in that faith they died. 

C. A. A. 

By kind permission 
of "The Times." 



g6 THESE WERE THE MEN 



WHOSE DEBTORS WE ARE. 

* * 

They held against the storms of fate, 
In War's tremendous game, 

A little land inviolate 
Within a world aflame. 

They looked on scarred and ruined lands, 
On shell-wrecked fields forlorn, 

And gave to us with open hand 
Full fields of yellow corn. 

The silence wrought in wood and stone, 
Whose aisles our fathers trod, 

The pines that stand apart, alone, 
Like sentinels of God ! 

The stars that guard the quiet night, 
Pin-pricked against the blue, 

The wind-swept dawn whose tranquil light 
Is mirrored in the dew; 

With generous hands they paid the price 

Unconscious of the cost, 
But we must gauge the sacrifice 

By all that they have lost. 

The joy of young adventure's ways, 
Of keen and undimmed sight, 

The eager tramp through sunny days, 
The dreamless sleep of night. 

The happy hours that come and go 

In youth's untiring quest, 
They gave because they willed it so, 

With some light-hearted jest. 

No lavish love of future years, 

No passionate regret, 
No gift of sacrifice or tears 

Gin ever pay the debt. 

By kind permission of the 
Proprietors of "Punch." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 97 



ENGLAND'S SAINTS. 

<%.*> + 

Who shall name them, this numberless army? we know not 

their number or name, 
But we know from the sign on their foreheads through great 

tribulation they came ; 
No calendar blazons their triumph with service of vigil or 

feast, 
And he that was greatest among them is even as he that was 

least ; 
They were men in the might of their manhood, or boys in the 

beauty of youth, 
But they held all as dust in the balance to battling for freedom 

and truth, 
We shall see them no more to our sorrow, they are rapt from the 

sphere of our pain, 
And the sword and the fire and the bullet shall sear not nor 

slay them again ; 
Priest and poet, clerk, scholar and craftsman, sea-toilers or 

sons of the sod 
From earth, air and ocean up-gathered, they rest in the garden 

of God. 

Their shrines stand on every highway, whose lamps of remem- 
brance abide, 
Fed with love from the heart-springs of England, and lit from 

the torch of her pride ; 
Upon hill-slope, by hamlet or homestead, they shine through 

the darkness undimmed. 
Morn and eve, 'neath the Christ bowed above them, the 

glimmering cressets are trimmed 
By their angels, who pass unbeholden so close hangs the 

curtain between 
Veiling heaven : for the things that we see not are more than 

the things that are seen. 

Now, Lord, for the nation's uplifting since this is the 

noblest we know, 
In Thy name to the help of the helpless through death and 

through darkness to go 



98 THESE WERE THE MEN 



For our country who spared not her children, for mother, 

love, sister and wife, 
Who endured what is deeper than death- wound, who gave 

what was dearer than life, 
For the pure and the wise and the godlike, who flocked to Thy 

banner unfurled, 
For the sinful Thy saints in the making we deemed but the 

waste of the world, 
For the builders of wood, hay and stubble the foolish, the 

faithless, the cold, 
Whose dross Thou hast purged in the furnace, and touched 

them, and turned them to gold, 
For the fearless of heart, and the fearful who trembled but 

came at Thy call, 
We bless Thee, we thank Thee, we laud Thee, we love Thee, 

Father of all ! 

JAMES RHOADES. 

By kind permission of the 
Author and of the "Observer." 



THESE WERE THE MEN 99 



THE WAR AND ONE MAN IN THE STREET. 



What has the war meant for my part, 

What has it shown to me ? 
The splendid wealth of many a heart 

And my heart's poverty. 

Through this enthralling awe-ful time 
What have I, marvelling, known ? 

Men's lives of heroism sublime 
Mine unheroic own. 

May I not spur that, too, awake, 

To seek some worthier goal, 
And wear the thought " For others' sake " 

As brassard for my soul ? 

God, ere the warriors' flags be furled, 

For this poor self I sue, 
Rebuilding now Thy ravaged world, 

Make even me anew ! 

Late, late the prayer, alas ! But now 

I could not live and see 
My life sink back to its old slough 

Ere these men died for me. 

HABBERTON LULHAM. 

By kind permission 
of the Author and of 
the "Spectator." 



ioo THESE WERE THE MEN 



EPITAPHS. 



FOR A GENERAL GRAVE ON VIMY RIDGE : 

You come from England : is she England still ? 
Yes, thanks to you that died upon this hill. 

J. M. EDMONDS. 

FOR A CEMETERY IN FRANCE : 

Our sons lie here, their lives they freely gave 
Both England's honour and her life to save. 

E. J. 

By kind permission 
of th Authors. 



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